The 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum

Do you like to tour Historic Homes?   Please  give me a call and stop by for a visit soon. You see, I live in an 1845 Historic Museum House. me and my beagle, Buddy Boy, will always be glad to give you a personal tour.

The difference between my house and other historic house museums, is the fact that I actually live there, 24-7. When you tour my house, you can walk in the rooms, set on the furniture , touch the accessories and I personally give you the tour.

When I purchased the 3000  sq. foot, 170 year old, hand made brick, Italianate style home, it was condemned-not livable. Years of neglect, decay and the elements had taken it's tole  on the old house. You see the house sets abut 200 feet from the Mississippi River. Every few years that old river floods it's banks and the effect from that flooding  is staggering. But, I bought the old house regardless. I could not help myself. I just wanted to put my arms around it and protect it. After years of work, the house was brought back to it's original glory.

I have been an antique dealer and collector for over 50 years and because of that, the house is full to the rafters with antique furniture and accessories of the 1860 period. So many beautiful things, each one purchased with love. Although they are not original to this house, they are of the period.

In college I studied art and interior design. My course through life  has  taken  me  to many places and this has helped me make the Elgin/Cottrell House, one of the most beautiful homes in Missouri. A lot of people who come to tour make this comment. They say they have seen bigger and grandeur house, but none with so many beautiful items.

The house gets it's name, "The 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum", from the original builder, Hezekiah Elgin and me, Richard Cottrell, the person who restored it.

The history of Hezekiah Elgin is an interesting one. His ancestors came to America on the May Flower and settled in Virginia. They fought in the Revolutionary War, under George Washington. They came to Missouri, before it was a state in 1815. They had a land grant from President Monroe. They opened a trading post, dealt with the American Indians, latter a hotel, an opera house and made a fortune, selling Missouri Mules to the United States Army, to fight the Civil War. And then built the Elgin/Cottrell house.

After the Elgin reign,the house became a boarding house, artist studio and then apartments.The 1900's were not very kind to this old house. It was used but was never given back to. After years of neglect- it found me.

Since opening the house for tours in 2006, during re-construction, I have had thousands of visitors. many return again and again to watch the progress. The house has been featured in many national magazines, PBS TV and other publications.  Needless to say, it is not your average historic tour house.

Call and make you reservation soon. 573 242 9688. All I ask is that you give me at least one day notice and have at least two people. I'll answer the phone and I will give the tour. You will be a visitor in My Home. Busses are welcome, parking available. Thanks in advance, see you soon.


Read more


Latitude: 39.369894 Longitude: -90.90339 Elevation: 455 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Richard Cottrell

Hours Open

By Appointment

Time Period Represented


Seasons Open

Year Round

Visitor Fees

$5.00 each person

Accessibility Notes

www.Illinois Stories, Elgin/Cottrell House


You'll love my house, please visit sometime soon. Richard Cottrell owner

Richard Cottrell, 8/12/2015

Leave a Comment